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Tax

Retirement Planning Tools

Retirement Planning Tools Here’s an interesting tidbit from the investment industry: In 2014, Merrill Lynch hired a gerontologist on staff – the first financial gerontologist of all time.1 Why? Because their financial advisors needed to learn how to plan for older people who are living longer than ever. The problems associated with this new era of…

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IRA Refresher

IRA Refresher In 2019, the IRS increased the limit on annual individual retirement account contributions to $6,000 from $5,500. The catch-up contribution for people ages 50 and up remained the same at $1,000.1 If you’re thinking about investing in an IRA or increasing your contribution, here’s some information to help you make your decision. A traditional…

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Where U.S. Economics Stand Globally

Where U.S. Economics Stand Globally From the beginning, President Donald Trump’s economic policies have intended to put “America first.” Since the ultimate goal of such policies is to strengthen America’s economic growth, solve for domestic issues and make the nation more secure, it’s worth a review of how well policy changes are working toward those…

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2018 Tax News

2018 Tax News The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 reduced federal income tax liability for some, but not all, Americans. Wealthy residents of California, New York and other high-tax states could face a higher tax bill when they file their 2018 return.1 While cutting tax rates on ordinary income, increasing the standard deduction…

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Trade Agreement Updates

Trade Agreement Updates In the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), among gains for the United States is a new provision negotiated with Mexico related to auto products. Under the new terms, to qualify for tariff-free sales, 75 percent of automobile materials must be produced in the…

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The New Space Race

The New Space Race   Space: The final frontier. Or is it? The U.S. is again taking a serious look at space exploration, but there are many factors to consider. President Trump last summer called for the Department of Defense to move space operations to a sixth military branch, though funding such an effort would…

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Interest Rate Watch

Interest Rate Watch   In late September, the Federal Reserve raised its key short-term interest rate to 2.25 percent from 2.0 percent, in its third increase of the year.1   The good news is that higher rates offer the potential for higher returns on CDs, bank savings and other fixed-rated accounts that have been languishing…

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Real Estate Update

Real Estate Update What a difference a decade makes. After the real estate debacle of the Great Recession, home prices are now near record highs in many markets with mortgage default and foreclosure rates at near record lows, according to the National Association of Realtors, or NAR.1 However, Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says some…

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